Are Succulents Safe To Have Around Dogs?
They may be pretty, but that doesn't mean they're safe 🪴
Succulents are super popular indoor plants for a reason. Not only are they cute, but they’re relatively easy to take care of, so they’re great for people who struggle to keep plants alive.
But there are some types of succulents that are poisonous to dogs. So if you have a dog, it’s a good idea to know which succulents are dangerous before you bring them into your home — and what symptoms to look for if your dog ever does manage to eat a succulent.
The Dodo spoke to Dr. Erica Irish, a veterinarian and member of the board of advisors for BetterPet, to find out which succulents are poisonous to dogs and what to do if your dog eats one.
Are succulents toxic to dogs?
Luckily, most succulents aren’t toxic to dogs, Dr. Irish told The Dodo. But there are some common types that can be poisonous.
Some types of succulents that are poisonous to dogs include:
- Silver jade
- Snake plant
- String of pearls
- Pencil cactus
- Panda plant
- Sago palm
Symptoms to look for if your dog ate a succulent
Because there are so many types of succulents, symptoms can vary based on the type of succulent your dog ate.
“Most dogs will have signs like nausea (lip-smacking, drooling), vomiting and diarrhea,” Dr. Irish said. “Some may appear tired or lethargic, and they might skip eating their food. Dogs who ingest kalanchoe may develop a very slow heart rate or heart rhythm, and dogs who ingest baby jade may stumble and fall when they walk.”
Common signs to look out for include:
- Lack of coordination
- Loss of appetite
- Mouth or skin irritation
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
Symptoms can show up within a few hours, but it’s best to call your veterinarian right away if you think your dog ate something toxic, even if he’s not showing any symptoms yet — early treatment is key, and it’s better to be safe than sorry!
How to treat your dog if he ate a succulent
If your dog ate a poisonous succulent, contact your vet so they can treat him ASAP.
Bring as much information with you to the vet as possible to help them treat your dog. That’s why it’s so helpful to know the names of the plants in your home and to know which plants are poisonous — if you can tell your vet exactly what your dog ate, they’ll be able to treat him that much more quickly, which can lead to a better outcome for your pup.
The treatment your vet will give your dog may depend on the type of succulent he ate, so the more info you can give, the better!
“If your dog ingested any of the more harmful succulents within the past two to three hours, they might induce vomiting to prevent absorption of any toxic substances, or they may administer activated charcoal orally in order to prevent absorption,” Dr. Irish said. “If there is an abnormal heart rate, hospitalization and EKG monitoring may be recommended.”
Succulents that are safe for dogs
If you love the look of succulents in your house, there are a lot of types of succulents that are safe to have around dogs.
Some types of succulents that are safe for dogs are:
- Blue echeveria
- Hens and chickens
- Burro’s tail
- Hardy baby tears
- Ghost plant
- Wax rosette
- Tree cactus
- Plush plant
- Painted lady
- Mexican rosettes
- Mexican snowballs
- Mexican firecracker
- Maroon chenille plant
“Thankfully, most succulents aren’t extremely toxic!” Dr. Irish said. “In most cases, ingestion just results in mild to moderate gastrointestinal signs.”
Even if you have succulents that are safe for dogs, you still shouldn’t let your dog snack on them. Since succulents aren’t a part of your dog’s regular diet, eating them can give him digestive problems even if they’re not poisonous (and you don’t want your dog feeling sick!).
If your dog ate a nontoxic succulent, it’s probably best to call your vet, just to be safe. Your vet can let you know if you should do anything to help with his possible upset stomach.
“For succulents that simply cause mild gastrointestinal upset, vets might recommend supportive care, such as a probiotic and special gastrointestinal diet for a few days,” Dr. Irish said. “Anti-nausea medications are also very helpful.”
The best thing to do to keep your pup safe is to not bring any toxic varieties of succulents into your house — dogs have a way of finding items they aren’t supposed to.
In addition to the succulents mentioned here, you can double check the ASPCA’s poisonous plants list or the Pet Poison Helpline’s list of poisonous substances. If you do have any of the types of poisonous succulents mentioned, keep them far out of your dog’s reach and know the names of the plants and the signs of poisoning so you can be prepared.